Team Clean, Inc.

Life Lessons to Combat the Flu

Every parent has warned, “Don’t touch that, you’ll get germs!” and shouted, “Go wash your hands!”

The fight to keep little ones healthy can seem like a losing battle. Children constantly put their fingers in their mouths, wipe their noses and rub their eyes. With each motion, they essentially spread germs and parents can only follow them with disinfecting wipes for so long.

Eventually, those children grow up and need to apply their parents’ advice – recognizing what they should and shouldn’t touch and learning when to wash their hands.

You Never Stop Learning

Flash forward to young adults attending college.  For most, living on campus marks the first opportunity to be away from home and the watchful eyes of parents. Suddenly, these independent students have to remember to take their own vitamins and get a good night’s sleep.

Shared spaces at colleges and universities increase the likelihood of spreading germs. Students and faculty repeatedly pass through classrooms, cafeterias, and bathrooms and they unconsciously touch common surfaces like stair rails and door handles. This constant exposure to germs could lead to illnesses.

The influenza (flu) virus can be spread when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or even talks in close proximity. Sometimes the flu can be transmitted by touching a surface with the flu virus and then touching one’s own mouth, eyes or nose. An infectious virus plus young people, with lower immunities from lack of sleep and (possibly) poor diets, equals a perfect storm for a flu epidemic.

Time to Take Notes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests “the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.” The organization also recommends staying home, covering sneezes and coughs and washing hands (where have we heard that before?).

The CDC also reported, “Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for up to 48 hours after being deposited on a surface.” To help slow the spread of the flu virus, the organization suggests cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects in the schools. This includes frequently touched items like desks, doorknobs and computer keyboards. The CDC also claims that “flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them.” Some tips to consider:

Cleaning 101


  • Kills germs on surfaces and objects
  • Uses chemicals
  • Reduces the risk of spreading the infection
  • Helps clean electronics – phones and computers (disinfecting wipes)


  • Removes germs and dirt from surfaces and objects
  • Works with soap (detergent) and water
  • Doesn’t necessarily kill germs, but lowers the number of germs
  • Reduces the risk of spreading the infection


  • Reduces the number of germs on surfaces and objects
  • Works by cleaning or disinfecting

The CDC strongly urges following the directions on the labels of cleaning products and disinfectants and confirming that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved their effectiveness against the influenza A virus.

Locations with large populations of people, like colleges and universities, should take precaution during cold and flu season. The administration and on-campus clinic should react quickly to reported cases of the flu by posting reminders about vaccinations and proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques. And of course, they should remind everyone: “WASH YOUR HANDS!”

Team Clean
About Team Clean
Founded in 1983, Team Clean, Inc. is a commercial, janitorial services company in Philadelphia.

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